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Hypokalemia (Low Potassium) – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments

Hypokalemia is a medical condition in which the levels of potassium in the blood are too low. Potassium plays a key role in many important functions of the muscle and nerve cells, particularly for your heart. Therefore, this disease would lead to many serious health issues. Mild cases do not cause symptoms, but hypokalemia would cause abnormal activities when it progresses. In this comprehensive guide, we will show you some common symptoms, causes, diagnostic techniques and treatment options to know.

5 Symptoms of Hypokalemia

Muscle Cramps

In the earliest stages, hypokalemia tends to cause muscle cramps or aches. These are uncontrolled and sudden contractions of the body’s muscles. They happen when the levels of potassium in your blood are low. Within each muscle cells, potassium plays a key role in relaying the brain’s signals to stimulations. In addition, the mineral can move out of muscle cells to finish those contractions. Due to a potassium deficiency, the brain is not able to relay those signals effectively as usual. This leads to more extended contractions in muscle spasms. In more severe cases, gastrointestinal and respiratory muscle weakness would occur. [1]